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Professional Development.

The purpose of this segment of the Armed Forces Comptroller is to offer useful and practical information to ASMC members and the financial management community on available education and developmental activities. This feature is designed so that a reader can easily follow up on items of interest immediately by phone or electronic mail.

Certified Defense Financial Manager (CDFM) Web Site

Get all the latest information on the CDFM, including study information and application documents. The latest CDFM certification brochure is downloadable. See http://www.asmccertification.com.

ASMC Headquarters to Sponsor Group Study Programs for the CDFM Examination

ASMC is committed to providing quality CDFM training for its members and is starting a program to underwrite the cost of training sessions to prepare for the CDFM exam. This applies to mini-PDIs, symposia, and other daylong and half-day training sessions. If your chapter is planning such an event, please contact Mr. Frank Arcari at (800) 462-5637, ext. 226, or by e-mail at arcarif@asmccertification.com. He will arrange for an ASMC-approved instructor to appear at your training event.

ASMC is concerned that there have been cases where non-ASMC-approved instructional personnel have been used and that either the time allotted for the material was inadequate or the material taught was incomplete and, consequently, attendees were under the erroneous impression that they were adequately prepared. Take advantage of this program and avoid shortchanging your members.

Chapter Group Study--Enhanced Defense FM Course Text Available Free!

For those chapters that already operate or plan to set up individual local study groups for the CDFM, ASMC Headquarters wishes to help. ASMC will provide one free copy of the 600-plus-page, copyrighted class text, Enhanced Defense Financial Management Course, and a limited number of additional copies as ordered by the chapter for $30.00 per copy. To get your chapter's free copy and to order additional copies, send a letter (on chapter letterhead) to ASMC Headquarters, Attention Mr. Frank Arcari, 2034 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 145, Alexandria, VA 22314 The letter must identify a chapter point of contact for certification and certification training.

Professional Development Dividend Chapters Earn 500 Points in Chapter Competition for Certification Programs

One of the new features of the ASMC's revised reporting system for chapter competition is a new block of up to 500 points for certification activities. The chapter must have an established certification committee, established certification goals, and an active publicity campaign. Documentation is required. Read more on the Internet by going to http://www.asmconline.org and selecting the National Organization button.

VA Reimbursement for Certification Testing

Good news for GI Bill-eligible personnel: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can now reimburse you for approved programs of certification testing. For details, see the VA Web site at http://www.va.gov and click on Education Benefits. Details will appear on that screen. Reimbursement for the Certified Defense Financial Manager program cannot be submitted until ASMC receives VA approval, appromixately January 2002.

Department of the Treasury--Financial Management Service

Treasury Agency Services, formerly The Center for Applied Financial Management, has details on three certificates it offers on its Web site at http://www.fms.treas.gov/tas/index.html. This Treasury organization offers the unique opportunity to receive certification in Treasury program topics and reporting systems, with practical exercises and case studies. A Certificate of Completion is awarded for each training course, and a Certificate of Accomplishment is granted upon successful completion of the certification examination. Each certificate requires completion of approximately six or more courses. Cost is approximately $250 to $380 per course. Most sessions are located in the Washington, D.C., area. Annual refresher training is also available. Again, for derails, visit the Treasury Agency Services Web site or call (202) 874-9550.

CFO Council Fellows Program

The CFO Council Fellows Program is a developmental program, established in 1997, for promising mid-level financial management personnel. Candidates are approved by a selection committee and spend one year working outside their own agencies on assignments that promote effective and efficient management of federal resources and programs. The professional needs of the candidates are matched with identified host agency opportunities. Leadership and advanced financial management training is provided to each participant, both through formal classroom instruction from the Federal Executive Institute (FEI) and the USDA Graduate School and through on-the-job training and briefings by agency financial leaders.

Three of the five current CFO Fellows are members of the ASMC. They are Juan Camacho, J. David Cauthon, and Janilyn Johnston.

Juan Camacho is on a rotational assignment that gives him first-hand experience in the standards-setting process for federal executive agency financial statements from development to promulgation. He is working with the Office of Management and Budget (0MB), the Department of Treasury's Financial Management Service, and the Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board.

J. David Cauthon is on a rotational assignment that will allow him to work alongside other systems accountants at the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program (JFMIP) in the development of financial systems requirements, specifically the exposure draft of the Core Financial System Requirements.

Janilyn Johnston is on a rotational assignment with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and the 0MB to give her a stronger knowledge of government accounting and an understanding of the financial requirements at the DoD and government-wide levels.

The, other Fellows are Paul McEnrue, on rotational assignment with the Department it of Interior, and Madonna Radcliff, on rotational assignment with the Department of Energy.

Sponsored by the U.S. Chief Financial Officers Council, the program is designed to provide the federal government with a cadre of experienced staff who' will be future financial management leaders. Applications are now being accepted for the next class of Fellows. For more information, see the Fellows Web site at http://www.financenet.gov/financenet/fed/cfo/fellows/. The application deadline for the 2002-2003 class is February 4, 2002. The program will run from May 2002 to April 2003.

Armed Services Professional Development Information - Army

The Army is continuing to aggressively pursue the training and development of its 11,000 military and civilian comptroller careerists into professional, multi-disciplined financial analysts. Some of the Army's key programs are summarized in the following paragraphs. More information and application deadlines and requirements can be found on the Army Comptroller Proponency Office Web site at http://www.asafm.army.mil/proponency/acpo.asp and at the PERSCOM FA 45 Assignment Officer Web site at http://128.190.158.50/opfamis/fa45.html.

Army Accreditation

The Army is encouraging its military and civilian comptrollers to pursue accreditation under the Army Comptroller Accreditation Program. The program has four levels, which careerists achieve by meeting recommended or mandatory requirements under five categories. The categories are training, formal education, certification, performance enhancing job experiences, and professional development.

The goals of accreditation are continuous professional development, competency maintenance, peer awareness, counseling, and career planning. Accreditation is a career-long pursuit of professional development, and it is expected that careerists will need 3 to 5 years to meet the requirements of each separate level.

Additional information on accreditation can be found in the CP-11 ACTEDS manual and in the Comptroller Accreditation Program Handbook. Both are available on the Proponency Office Web site.

Army Training With Industry (TWI) Program

The Army began a new TWI program for its Functional Area 45 (Comptroller) military officers in fiscal year (FY) 2001. Five FA 45 officers were competitively selected and began 12-month rotations with industry leaders in July 2001. TWI partners include General Electric, Boeing, Motorola, and United Services Automobile Association.

Officers will start each summer and be placed in or rotated through positions where they can participate in and learn the broad, multi-functional financial management aspects of these corporations, as well as contribute to their operations.

The goals of the TWI program are many. Foremost, the Army wants to provide professional development for its officers to become the Army's future financial management leaders. These officers will learn from the corporation's successes and challenges and use this knowledge to improve Army performance and to challenge static paradigms. Through this partnership, the Army and its partners will share ideas and business practices and will benchmark processes for mutual improvement.

The TWI program operates under Army Regulation 621-1 (Training of Military Personnel at Civilian Institutions). It is also outlined in the FA 45 Professional Development Guide and chapter 31 of DA PAM 600-3 (Commissioned Officer Development and Career Guide).

Officers will be selected through a competitive board administered by PERSCOM. Selection includes rank and time-in-service criteria (majors or lieutenant colonels with no more than 19 years of commissioned service who have been career field designated as an PA 45) as well as demonstrated potential for advancement. The Army Comptroller Proponency Office hopes later to add civilian comptroller careerists to this opportunity

Applications for the TWI program starting the summer of FY2002 are due to PERSCOM on November 15, 2001. Interested officers should see MILPER Message 01-210.

Army Comptrollership Program (ACP)

The ACP is the Arm/s premier Masters of Business Administration Program at Syracuse University, in Syracuse, NY. Students attend an intensive 14-month, fully funded program, leading to the award of the MBA. The program starts each June and runs through August of the next year. Applications for civilian comptroller careerists are due to the Comptroller Proponency Office by October 18, 2001. Military applications are due to PERSCOM JAW MILPER Message 01-208 by November 1,2001. Interested careerists are highly encouraged to apply for this outstanding opportunity.

Army Comptroller Short-Term Training

The Army's key short-term comptroller training courses are the Army Comptroller Course (ACC) and the Professional Resource Management Course (PRMC).

The ACC is a 4-week comprehensive training experience held at Syracuse University, in Syracuse, NY The ACC is conducted five times each fiscal year. It is intended for journey-level Army civilian careerists, second-year Department of the Army interns, and PA 45 captains and majors.

The ACC is a training course in Army financial management and comptrollership focusing on federal budget challenges, strategic planning, PPBES, fiscal law, activity- and service-based costing, manpower management, contracting, management controls, competitive sourcing, financial operations, the legislative process, and installation and major command resource management.

The PRMC is a 4-week management development program, also held at Syracuse University. It is conducted three times each fiscal year. Eligibility includes majors and lieutenant colonels, SGM (MOS 73Z), GS-11 through GS-14 CP-11 careerists, and GS-9s in full-performance positions who have sufficient experience. The PRMC is designed to give mid-level, upwardly oriented resource managers interpersonal communication, analytical, negotiation, and consensus-building skills. The program uses a managerial focus to examine the Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Execution System and current issues in resource management (for example, competitive sourcing, activity-based costing, and management).

The Army also encourages its professionals to attend the DoD Professional Military Comptroller School, conducted by the Air Force at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Dates and application suspenses for these short-term courses are available on the Army Proponency Office Web site.

DoD Professional Military Comptroller School (PMCS)

The DoD PMCS has been recognized as the premier resource management course for financial professionals. The U.S. Air Force serves as executive agent for the PMCS. Courses are taught at the graduate level. The school's vision is "To improve accountability and fiscal readiness of DoD personnel by providing world-class financial management education." The PMCS seeks to expand students' capacity to adapt their role to the economic, political, and technical environments affecting military organizations--with a continuous focus on the primary mission of supporting the commander and warfighter.

The PMCS plays a critical role in the professional development of today's resource managers. The school offers a 6-week course five times a year and a 2-week Guard/Reserve course once a year. Each DoD Component (Service or Defense agency) selects its own students based on general PMCS guidelines and allocated seats per class.

Typical students are majors through colonels and GS-12s through GS-15s from all financial management disciplines. On a case-by-case basis, the school will grant waivers for attendance by captains and GS-11s if space permits and time-in-grade, experience, and chain-of-command endorsements indicate the individual is capable of successfully completing the course. Additionally, the PMCS will also accept students from outside the normal financial management career disciplines with endorsements from each prospective student's major command or agency comptroller.

In virtually every class, students identify the handpicked faculty and the dynamic guest lecturer program as overall PMCS strengths, with both reflecting the school's DoD focus. The faculty includes Air Force, Army, Navy, and DFAS representatives; guest lecturers span the various DoD Components and organizational levels. The PMCS uses 60 to 70 guest lecturers per class, with approximately 25 percent being general officers or senior executive service personnel.

The PMCS educates students using nine major curriculum areas: Resource Allocation; Budgeting and Execution; Finance, Accounting and Audit; Economics for Resource Managers; Information Management; Analysis for Resource Management; Executive Communication; Leadership and Management and Total Personal Wellness. Additionally' given the importance of professional certification in today's fiscal environment, the school recently began exposing students to the new CDFM Program and is seeking to provide certification-testing opportunities at Maxwell AFB beginning in mid-FY2002.

The nine curriculum areas and certification exposure emphasize the school's focus on the "total person" concept--technical competence combined with leadership/management skills, the ability to communicate both orally and in writing, and a healthy lifestyle designed so that individuals may function at their optimum level. The 6-week course includes 240 curriculum hours; the 2-week course includes 82.5 hours.

Individual DoD Component application procedures, as well as the school's FY2002 class schedule, are outlined in the following paragraphs. For more information, please contact the school at DSN 493-6656 or (334) 953-6656. Visit the PMCS Web site at http://www.au.af.mil/au/cpd. E-mall the school Operations Officer at Rodney. Troyanowski@Maxwell.AF.Mil or write to CPD/FM, 525 Chennault Circle, Maxwell AEB, AL 36112-6429. Army - Nominees from major commands (MACOMs) and the Army Staff are selected on a "best-qualified" basis. Nominations are submitted through the MACOMs and Army Staff to the Proponency Office of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Army (FM&C). The Proponency Office makes final selections and centrally funds travel and per diem.

Navy/Marine Corps - Nominations go to and are screened by the Naval Financial Management Career Center. Travel and per diem expenses for all but PCS are centrally funded by ASN (FM&C).

Air Force/DoD - Central selection at the school chaired by the PMCS Director. Selections are on a "best-qualified" basis from nominees from major commands, the Air Staff, and Defense agencies. Selectees are centrally funded by the Air Force or the respective Defense agency, as appropriate.

DFAS - Nominations are selected on a "best-qualified" basis. Nominations go through the chain of command, submitted to and screened by DFAS Human Resources Training Division, with final approval by DFAS-Arlington.

Class Schedule (FY2002):

Class 02-A -

October 9-November 16, 2001 Class 02-R -

December 3-14, 2001

Class 02-R -

Class 02-B -

January 14-February 22, 2002

Class 02-C -

March 25-May 3, 2002

Class 02-D -

June 3-July 12, 2002

Class 02-E -

August 5-September 13, 2002

Defense Finance and Accounting Service

The Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS) recognizes the importance of growth and learning as part of its overall strategy. Resulting initiatives being pursued within DFAS that are in alignment with this objective involve various areas of emphasis.

In the near term, a systematic methodology for supporting the identification and management of developmental assignments is being implemented. The intent is to ensure that employees have opportunities to develop areas of expertise through various learning experiences within the work environment. This will be of value for both the employee and the organizational element to which he or she is assigned.

Other initiatives involve enhancing learning strategies already in place within the organization. This includes raking current career development plans (which provide competencies, learning objectives, and developmental activities for each career series and grade level) and determining how to enhance the linkage of this planning tool with an overall corporate Learning Management System.

Another area of focus involves the establishment of a core curriculum of courses to address corporate-wide areas of emphasis. This approach is already in place with regard to core technical skills training within the finance and accounting career fields. The strategy is being supplemented by efforts to develop and offer core training in other areas of emphasis to include leadership development, supervisory training, and core skills such as team development and customer relationships.

In addition, DFAS has partnered with NETg to bring DFAS employees over 800 e-learning courses via computer-based training or the Web. These courses cover a wide range of technical and professional topics that can be taken anytime, anywhere. Through this option, individuals are given the added advantages of being able to set their own pace for getting the skills they need and to return to the course as needed for "just-in-time" refresher sessions.

Initiatives such as these are being pursued in order to develop within DFAS a systems approach to learning. The intent is to offer multiple learning opportunities through various media options in order to enhance the overall skills and abilities of DFAS employees.

Contact Points for More Information

As always, send requests for information on certification, training, and education opportunities that you would like to see in the Armed Forces Comptroller to ASMC National Headquarters, Attn: Professional Development Corner, 2034 Eisenhower Avenue, Suite 145, Alexandria, VA 22314. Points of contact are John Raines (raines@asmconline. org) and Frank Arcari (arcarif@asmccertification.org). The ASMC's toll-free number is (800) 462-5637.

RELATED ARTICLE: Mary Wagner, CDFM

I'm an extremely grateful CDFMer--to the ASMC Executive Board for paving the way for all of us; to Frank Arcari and, on a local dimension, to Dennis Davis, who so enthusiastically convinced me that testing was something I absolutely could not ignore.

Two months after attending the training, I sat down for a very long day at my kitchen table, cramming for "finals" the next day: all three modules at once, and I'm probably the world's worst test-taker.

Like others, I walked away from the ordeal pretty numb, and had no clue about the outcome. Needless to say, I was ecstatic when the phone call came from ASA(FM&C), and Dave Knowlton told me I had passed. I now very proudly display that certificate in my office.

I can't offer words of wisdom that will make your journey to certification easy or successful, but I certainly encourage you to take the trip. After I read all I could find about the program and spoke with several people putting their heart and soul into making it successful, I had to give it a shot.

The tangible benefits to me as an individual aren't a priority; taking those tests is simply the right thing to do. Living up to expectations regarding stewardship and fiscal responsibilities, sharing our system of values, and continually acquiring knowledge are intrinsic measures of true performance. Passing those exams is the best return on an investment we can proffer for our financial leaders, who went to bat for us.

The tests are tough, but fair. I strongly encourage everyone to go for it. The certificate hanging on the wall is impressive; you won't leave this one in the tube!
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Publication:Armed Forces Comptroller
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 22, 2001
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